Columbia Conference Galvanizes Injury Prevention Efforts

January 17, 2017 - Injury Free Coalition for Kids National Office

Ft. Lauderdale Florida, December 2016: The Injury Free Coalition for Kids®, one of the country’s front running organizations addressing childhood injury prevention closed out the year with one of its most impactful meetings in the organization’s history. More than 100 childhood injury prevention experts from around the country and Canada came together and exchanged information about the number one killer and cause of hospitalization of young people, share best practices for addressing injuries and look at the latest research evaluating programs and injury mechanisms. Burns, scalds, bicycle safety, firearm injuries and motor vehicle safety were among the many topics discussed.

“Great strides are being made in pediatric injury prevention across the country when it comes to the traffic environment and child passenger safety," said Kim Wiley-Schwartz, Assistant Commissioner for Education and Outreach at the New York City Department of Transportation. “Sharing best practices from the Vision Zero effort in New York City with some of the brightest pediatric trauma specialists in the country was an honor. The bold vision that the Injury Free Coalition for Kids has brought to hospitals around the country is laying the groundwork every day for cities who are taking on Vision Zero practices.”

“What I liked best about the meeting was the wonderful people, and I liked that so many of the talks focused on real world practice issues,” said David Hemenway, the Injury Free 2016 Pioneer Award winner recognized for the body of work he has done in injury prevention. “It is great to see people from across the United States and Canada who are working daily to make kids safer.”

That is the purpose of the organization explained founder and Executive Director Barbara Barlow, MD. The Injury Free Coalition for Kids provides a platform for the development and exchange of best practices in preventing injury and discussion of common problems and possible solutions to the injury challenges we all face. The membership is incredibly committed and endlessly resourceful and supportive.

Representatives from five New York hospitals, New York City Health & Hospitals and the New York Department of Transportation were a part of the conversation with representatives form 25 states and seven injury prevention advocates from Canada. Every person attending the event rated the meeting as good or excellent. The next meeting will take place in the Ft. Lauderdale Embassy Suites December 1-3, 2017.


The Injury Free Coalition for Kids is located in the Columbia University Medical Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention. It is among the country's most effective injury prevention programs. Injury Free is comprised of hospital-based, community-oriented injury prevention sites whose efforts are anchored in research, education, and advocacy. Located in all of the countries Federal Trauma Regions, there are 39 sites across 30 states and one international site in Ontario Canada. Each site is housed in the trauma center of its participating institution. They are all independent, physician-led programs driven by the Coalition's mission: preventing injury to children. While research determines where the injuries take place and which ones most prevalent and severe, most of the injuries addressed occur in urban environments, and Coalition members work to empower the diverse populations who live there.

Estell Lenita Johnson